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District Breakup Not Solution

March 28, 1993

The efforts to break up the Los Angeles Unified School District are another example of the propensity to use cosmetic methods to "solve"--actually mask --deep-seated and serious problems.

If the schools are so terrible, why is it that the average student from Asian ethnic groups is able to achieve at such a high level? Also, why can students from all other ethnic groups who are in enriched, honors and advanced placement classes learn as much as students at the expensive private schools?

The fact that a sizable percentage of the students do learn and achieve at a high level indicates that it is possible, and also that we should possibly look elsewhere for the source of the average low learning level. What about the large percentage of students whose vocabularies are not adequate to understand learning procedures?

Whose parents don't encourage them to study? Whose parents don't know how to discipline at home and therefore their children aren't disciplined at school? Whose parents neglect them or physically or psychologically abuse them? Who arrive at school hungry? Who are interested only in entertainment and are not willing to do repetitive drill?

Who don't think they need to acquire a vocabulary or learn very much because their sports and entertainment heroes talk ungrammatically, and obviously don't know very much, but make millions of dollars per year.

Is breaking up the school district going to solve any of these or several common situations that are the actual cause of the dismal performance in our district?

The breakup would create districts of immensely varying quality rather than consistently high quality districts.

The proponents should note that Europe and the newly prosperous Asian countries nearly all have national, centrally administered school systems. Most of them are successfully teaching their children.

BRUCE BOYD

Encino

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